The Sims 4

Keep an eye on these 3 GDC presentations about The Sims 4!

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the world’s largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event. During this conference there are a lot of presentations about how developers made their games, roadblocks they had to overcome.

2 years ago @Raymazza (creative director of The Sims 4) gave a fantastic presentation about The Sims Social that taught me a lot. I hope this years presentations about The Sims 4 will be just as interesting and available to us, it is I believe not always a sure thing that every presentation will be recorded, livestreamed and/or published afterwards.

Here are the 3 presentations that sounds like they will be about The Sims 4:

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Improving Visualization of AI Info
Charles Gast | Senior Software Engineer, EA (Maxis)
Bill Merrill | AI Lead, Turtle Rock Studios
Mika Vehkala | Founder & AI Programmer, Gametec Consulting

Date: Tuesday, March 18
Time: 11:15am-12:15pm

When AI was simple, debugging consisted of confirming that the character was simply doing the one thing you expected. Over time, debugging moved away from “what” and became more about “why?” or “why not?” The collision of information about the agents, the environment, the player and the game state creates an enormous amount of data that can affect the decisions that the characters make. In this session, three developers will share methods that their studios employed to expose that information in manageable, understandable ways to programmers and designers alike. Bill Merrill of Turtle Rock Studios will explain a simple yet powerful timeline-like view they used in the upcoming Evolve. Charles Gast will show details of their HTTP-based Game State Inspector, allowing powerful information widgets for The Sims 4. Mika Vehkala will demonstrate features of ReView as used for debugging the multi-player bots in Killzone: Shadow Fall.

More information here:

Concurrent Interactions in The Sims 4
Peter Ingebretson | Senior Software Engineer, Electronic Arts (Maxis)
Max Rebuschatis | Software Engineer III, Electronic Arts (Maxis)

Date: Wednesday, March 19
Time: 5:00pm-6:00pm

In real life, people often do several things at the same time, but games typically limit agents to performing actions sequentially. For The Sims 4, we developed a system for authoring interactions that allows simulated people (called Sims) to express multiple concurrent behaviors. Interactions are largely data-driven and are defined in terms of constraints, which specify the state a Sim must be in to perform the interaction. Constraints are used to test whether interactions are compatible, and to drive decisions that Sims make about whether, how and where to perform an interaction. This system allows Sims in The Sims 4 to convincingly eat, watch TV, chat with other Sims, express emotion, and perform many more behaviors simultaneously. We believe that this powerful and simple technique could be applied to a similar effect in your game too.

More information here:

Multi-Actor Behavior Sequencing in The Sims 4
Brian Bell | Senior Software Engineer, Maxis

Date: Friday, March 21
Time: 2:30pm-3:30pm

As online gaming continues to surge in popularity, simulation complexity increases rapidly and aggressively multi-core platforms become the standard, decoupling game presentation from simulation becomes increasingly important. For The Sims 4, we’ve developed a novel model for rendering high-fidelity synchronized behaviors involving multiple actors, even when driven by a simulation that runs at highly variable and/or low-frame rates, and which potentially communicates with the renderer over a high/variable latency connection. Historically, such products have often made significant compromises, either by requiring their simulations to run at real-time rates, and forcing extremely rigid synchronization, or by limiting visual quality in critical areas like character animation. Our solution addresses all of these, and is capable of scaling across a variety of game types by offering a core framework for individual game teams to extend and customize.

More Information here:

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1 Comment

  • Awesome! Hopefully we will get to see some of it too, or at least, hear from it via articles/videos/radio haha don’t care how 😛